Created on: 10 Mar 2022 | Last modified: 10 Mar 2022
The EIS will launch its Education Manifesto ahead of May’s Scottish local authority elections.
The Manifesto will be formally launched at Friday’s meeting of the national EIS Council.
EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "The EIS Manifesto calls for increased investment and enhanced support for schools, teachers and students to support the vital process of education recovery following the Covid pandemic. The EIS is challenging all political parties and all election candidates to make clear commitments to providing improved support for Scottish education."
The Manifesto also calls for increased investment in the teacher workforce, including the recruitment of additional teachers, to support education recovery. Commenting, Mr Flanagan said, "There is a very clear and urgent need to address shortages within the teacher workforce to support education recovery. This must include the employment of additional teachers, on permanent and secure contracts.
"Currently, around 10% of Scotland’s teachers are employed on short-term and temporary contracts - this is a scandal that local authorities must commit to tackling as a matter of urgency. Early delivery of existing commitments to reduce teachers’ class contact time must also be a priority, and steps to reduce class sizes to support education recovery must be taken by councils.
"We are also calling for urgent improvements in support for teacher wellbeing, including mental health, in the wake of the Covid pandemic which has heaped huge additional pressures on staff."
A commitment to fair pay for Scotland’s teachers is also central to the EIS Manifesto, following long delays in pay negotiations in recent years. Scotland’s teachers are still awaiting a pay settlement for 2021, as a result of prolonged procrastination and delay by the council body COSLA.
EIS Council will decide today whether to ballot members over the latest revised pay offer. The EIS is calling on all parties to re-commit to the principles of collective bargaining via the agreed forum, the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT).
Other priorities in the Manifesto include: enhancing support for schools; a commitment to high-quality pre-5 education led by teachers; proper resourcing to support young people with Additional Support Needs (ASN); funding to support initiatives aimed at tackling the equality impact of poverty on young people’s education.